When it comes to drugs that are being developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, it is believed that they work in full force only if they are prescribed before the onset of dementia. This indicates how vital it is to determine in advance whether a person belongs to a risk group. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have proposed a new technique that allows you to diagnose a disease even before it manifests itself. In it, the main role belongs to the nose, or rather the sense of smell. Previous studies have shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease decrease their sense of smell, in this regard, a team led by Dr. David R. Roalph decided to use this information to diagnose a group of 728 elderly people. All participants were pre-evaluated using an array of neurological methods and divided into three groups: healthy, have moderate cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Each subject was given 16 fragrant sticks, they only needed to correctly recognize all the smells. Based on cognitive tests, researchers were able to identify 75 percent of people with cognitive impairment in the group, but the “snuff” test showed a result of 87%. Timely detection of MCI is important since mild cognitive impairment is known to occur several years before actual Alzheimer’s. Researchers are now bringing their method to mind. Once it becomes reasonably orderly, it will begin to be massively used in medical facilities as a screening among older people. “We hope to reduce the time it takes to complete the test. It usually takes from five to eight minutes, and plans to reduce it to three so that the short test remains effective in diagnosing MCI and dementia, ”says Roalph.